There are seven special awards given by the National Cowgirl Museum which honor individuals, organizations, or foundations that support our mission of honoring and celebrating women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience, and independence that shape the American West.

Gloria Lupton Tennison

Gloria Lupton Tennison Pioneer Award

Established in honor of the local philanthropist, Gloria Lupton Tennison, this award distinguishes those who have pioneered new approaches to public service in the areas of business, law, sports, the arts, or humanitarian causes. It recognizes the difficulty in creating new avenues of service, while applauding the determination and trailblazing efforts of those who have successfully created programs.

Previous award winners include:

  • 1999: Nancy Lee Bass
  • 2001: Lynne V. Cheney
  • 2005: Anne Armstrong
  • 2009: Laura W. Bush
  • 2010: Ruth Carter Stevenson
  • 2012: Nancy Brinker
  • 2017: Ann D. Romney
Fern Sawyer

Fern Sawyer Award

Named after a 1976 Honoree and champion cowgirl, this award distinguished an individual or organization that has worked toward and contributed to the advancement of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

Previous award winners include:

  • 1994: Anne W. Marion
  • 2000: Georgia Mae Ericson
  • 2001: Sheila Welch
  • 2003: Van Romans
  • 2006: Edward P. Bass
  • 2007: Alice L. Walton
  • 2011: Patti Colbert
  • 2012: Renda Tillerson
  • 2022: Nadine Lipson
Patsy Montana

Patsy Montana Entertainer Award

Named for 1987 Honoree Patsy Montana, this award recognizes those whose work in the entertainment field continue to advance the tradition of the cowgirl in the areas of film, television, music, writing and theatre.

Previous award winners include:

  • 1996: Emmylou Harris
  • 2000: Jessie the Cowgirl from Toy Story 2
  • 2016: Callie Khouri
  • 2021: Christina Voros
  • 2022: Faith Hill
  • 2023: Lainey Wilson
Mitzi Lucas

Mitzi Lucas Riley Award

Established in honor of 1996 Hall of Fame Honoree Mitzi Lucas Riley, this award recognizes young adults who promote Western heritage in the community through education and volunteerism. This award encourages involvement in preserving the Western culture and legacy.

Honoree Mitzi Lucas Riley has said that the saddle was her playpen as a baby. Born into rodeo royalty having Tad Lucas for a mother and Buck Lucas for a father, Mitzi made her professional trick riding debut at age six when she and her mother performed together in Pueblo, Colorado. A daring trick rider, she performed in rodeos across the country, from Madison Square Garden to the Calgary Stampede. Mitzi served on the board of the Rodeo Historical Society, establishing the Tad Lucas Award to recognize outstanding women in rodeo. Mitzi has held fast to a life-long dedication to the Western heritage, and to promoting cowgirls.

Previous award winners include:

  • 2010: Adelaide Royer and Mary Margaret Richter
  • 2013: Missy Bonds
  • 2014: Amberley Snyder
  • 2016: Amy Doris Bell
  • 2018: Brooke Wharton
  • 2023: Lorene Agather and Sainty Nelsen
Mary Jane Colter

Mary Jane Colter Award

This award, named for 2009 Honoree Mary Jane Colter, distinguishes those women who create, design, build, and interpret the traditions of the American West.

Mary Jane Colter was one of the few female architects of her era. She has eleven buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, five of which have been designated National Historic Landmarks. Each year, as many as 5 million visitors pass through the collection of buildings she designed or decorated in Grand Canyon National Park. For inspiration, Colter looked to nature and was known for creating structures in harmony with the environment.

Previous award winners include:

  • 2014: Jan Barboglio
  • 2015: Double D Ranch
  • 2018: Kathleen Moody

Sergeant Reckless Award

Named for the most decorated war horse in modern history, this award recognizes animals, individuals, or groups who risk their lives for the betterment of others, and who stand courageously in protection of others.

Sergeant Reckless, a mare, held official rank in the United States military and served in many combat positions during the Korean War, including one in which she completed 51 solo trips, covering 35 miles in a single day, transporting over 9,000 pounds of recoilless rounds – and saving lives in the process.

  • 2019: Robin Hutton
  • 2021: Lucca K458, USMC
Jerry Ann Taylor

Jerry Ann Taylor Best Dressed Award

Named for Jerry Ann Taylor, a daring trick rider and 1986 Honoree with an incredible sense of style, this award recognizes competitors whose style captures their individuality and showmanship.

Following her passing in February 2012, a fund was started to reward cowgirls who embody her famous sense of style. The WPRA developed the criteria for the judging which took place the first nine go rounds at Wrangler National Finals Rodeo (WNFR) and the final night of the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo (FWSSR).

Previous award winners include:

  • 2012 NFR: Mary Walker
  • 2013 FWSSR: Kendra Dickson
  • 2013 NFR: Fallon Taylor
  • 2014 FWSSR: Jane Melby
  • 2014 NFR: Fallon Taylor
  • 2015 FWSSR: Kendra Dickson
  • 2015 NFR: Fallon Taylor
  • 2016 FWSSR: Shelly Anzick
  • 2016 NFR: Michele McLeod
  • 2017 FWSSR: Kathy Grimes
  • 2017 NFR: Kimmie Wall
  • 2018 FWSSR: Sadye Simpson
  • 2018 NFR: Jessica Routier
  • 2019 FWSSR: Stevi Hillman
  • 2019 NFR: Jessica Routier
  • 2020 FWSSR: Jimmie Smith
  • 2020 NFR: Tiany Schuster
  • 2021 NFR: Molly Otto
  • 2022 FWSSR: Sissy Winn
  • 2022 NFR: Margo Crowther
  • 2023 FWSSR: Sissy Winn
  • 2023 NFR: Sissy Winn